As California’s 2021-22 waterfowl hunting season approaches, hunters may find that wildlife areas have limited space, particularly early in the season.
Most years, quality public hunting access can be found on more than two dozen national wildlife refuges and wildlife areas administered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). With this year’s drought, some areas will have significantly reduced amounts of water available, while others will have normal to near-normal water conditions. As a result, some wildlife areas and refuges may be closed, while others may open later in the season or have a reduced hunter quota.
Beginning Sept. 1, hunters can submit reservation applications for state-operated waterfowl hunting areas. CDFW will attempt to offer reservation applications only for areas that will be open for hunting. However, last-minute closures may occur due to uncertain water availability, and refunds cannot be issued for applications submitted to areas that close due to a lack of water.
Updates about wildlife area and refuge closures will be posted on CDFW’s Closures web page. For detailed information about hunter quotas, please contact the wildlife area or refuge you wish to hunt.